- House of Commons Meeting - "Blowing The Lid On Poverty."
Join us in the meeting hosted by Heidi Allen MP where we discuss the scourge of poverty in the UK and how it is blighting the lives of countless numbers of people. Heidi Allen until recently a Conservative MP and now the interim Leader of the new cross party group Change UK has agreed to host a meeting with us in the House of Commons on “Blowing The Lid On Poverty.” Whilst a Conservative MP, Heidi became increasingly disillusioned with her own Party and of the British establishment in general in their failure to tackle poverty in the UK. So Heidi together with Frank Field embarked on a nationwide tour in search of the “other England” shaped by the austerity policies pioneered by Allen’s former party. She said “I have absolutely had enough,” Allen said, eyes reddening, in front of a group who spelled out how the reforms were turning the screw on some of the country’s poorest people. “So I asked Frank if he would join me on a tour of the UK to show the government this exists. Unless we blow the lid off it, my lot are not going to listen.” Like George Orwell before that last World War they wanted to look at how poverty was causing tragedy in the lives of many people. She will tell us about this at this meeting and we will also ask two other speakers to join her. Also speaking will be, Peter Kenway who is the New Policy Institutes’s director and co-founder. Besides NPI’s work on poverty and exclusion which he led for many years, Peter has worked in most NPI research areas at one time or another. His main areas of interest are local government finance and taxes, the water industry and the deep-seated economic imbalances afflicting the UK and others. Before co-founding the institute in 1996, Peter worked as an economist at the University of Reading as well as a manager, consultant and planner in public transport. Louise Woodruff Policy and Partnerships Manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Louise works on projects about income and benefits, work, cities, towns and neighbourhoods, people, and society. Her areas of expertise include: living standards, pay, employment, forced labour, labour markets, skills, working with employers, services and local government, immigration, and slavery. Alison Garnham became Chief Executive of CPAG in September 2010. Prior to that she was the CEO of Daycare Trust - since June 2006. Prior to this, for nine years, she was the Director of Policy, Research and Information at One Parent Families (now Gingerbread). Alison was for nine years a member of the Social Security Advisory Committee and an Honorary Officer of the End Child Poverty Campaign.
- Health Care & Artificial Intelligence
Join us at this meeting at Imperial College where we discuss Artificial Intelligence and Healthcare?What impact will this have for patients, how will it effect the work of practitioners and are there any important ant ethical concerns? Joining us to discuss this will be David Wood is the Chair of the London Futurists, and Executive Director of the technoprogressive think-tank Transpolitica. David was one of the pioneers of the smartphone industry, and is now a renowned futurist commentator. He has a triple first class mathematics degree from Cambridge, and undertook doctoral research in the Philosophy of Science. In 2009 he was included in T3’s list of “100 most influential people in technology”. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in London since 2005, and a Fellow of the IEET (Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies) since January 2015. Simon Hooper who is the co founder and CEO of RemindMeCare - a unique system (which is christened ‘Activity Software’ to differentiate it from Care Planning and Care Recording Software) that serves the ‘activity’ needs of all those parties involved in the person centred care process and uses the outcome data to further improve care. Healthcare sectors are increasingly adopting artificial intelligence to improve patient care and improve process efficiencies. Clearly, the use of AI in medicine has been expanding in the last few years. This is partly due to a desire by medical providers to expand their care offerings, and partly due to the maturing of artificial intelligence itself – AI has grown by leaps and bounds in the last couple years. At this point, AI in healthcare spans many of the core areas in medicine. AI shapes – to a lesser or greater degree – everything from diagnostics to health and wellness to smart devices. In many ways, AI technology has become a "second layer" of healthcare provider. This is because AI software can adapt without human intervention, so it can "learn" to target human health needs on its own.
- The Crisis of Universities In The 21st Century
Join us in this meeting in the House of Lords hosted by Baroness Garden of Frognal on the The Crisis of Universities.” Baroness Garden of Frognal is the joint chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Universities and we hope to invite other members of that group to our meeting Universities are going through a crisis at this moment of time. There is the crisis of funding, the crisis of student numbers, the mission of a university whether it’s to to fill the job market or open student’s minds to new thinking and the freedom for students and academics to engage openly. And of course there is the crucial role of foreign students and the income that brings. But as student numbers have grown in the last two or three decades the student population has become more diverse and varied. Some are concerned that Universities are yet to adapt themselves to this new diverse and varied student population and the learning this requires. And then there is the fear that the British University system is too top heavy with a handful of Universities able to attract funds and students who have an advantage over others. How do we address these issues and what action needs to be taken. We hope to discuss this in this meeting in the House of Lords and invite the audience there to give their views and make their contribution. Also speaking at this meeting is Prof Ijeoma Uchegbu who is at University College London in the School of Pharmacy. Ijeoma has been awarded various prizes for her work, notably the UK Department for Business Innovation Skills’ Women of Outstanding Achievement in Science Engineering and Technology award. She is concerned about the future of universities and its problems in diversity.
- The Crisis Of British Democracy
Join us in our meeting at Conway Hall when we discuss the crisis facing British democracy. Brexit has exposed some major faultiness in British Politics that has been growing over many years. Our representative form of government has often been grid locked and unable to respond. It has led to movements that could undermine our democracy and existential crises like climate change where politicians ability and willingness to act questions democracy itself. At this meeting we will look at five opinions about the crisis of democracy and alternative views of what can be done. We will ask five speakers to speak for 7 minutes and then open it up to the audience for comments and questions. The five areas we will look at are, a) Deliberative democracy and how we can get more people involved in deeper discussions about decisions b) Direct democracy where in the digital world we can involve everyone in decisions at the touch of a computer key c) Democracy led Elites where we try to balance the need for long term decisions balanced against short term electoral cycles d) Cosmopolitan Democracy that looks at the need for tackling many problems globally and thus developing a democracy that crosses borders e) Democracy Suspension - that in an existential crisis like climate change democracy may no longer be fit for purpose. So come and join this debate and discussion and bring your own alternative models - as we face in the coming decade a growing crisis of democracy. This event is free to students and paid up full members of GlobalNet21 and Conway Hall Ethical Society members. There is a charge of £5 for all others and you can register with your payment at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-crisis-of-british-democracy-tickets-62636896644
- People’s Juries To Address The Crisis in Education At Conway Hall
Join us and help us develop ideas about our education system, how it should be reformed and what steps we need to take to do that. Many people are becoming increasingly disillusioned with how school education operates in this country. The constraints of a narrow curriculum and the pressure for schools and students to perform well in standardised test and exams are now almost universally seen as inflicting real damage on young people. Not only are they not being prepared adequately for life in the 21st century, but school education is also a major contributory factor in the deterioration of mental health and wellbeing among young people. Tonight’s event offers an opportunity for YOU to play a role in defining the steps that can be taken to move towards a far better system of education – one that can enable young people to thrive and flourish in a world in which so many of our traditional assumptions about work, wellbeing and prosperity are evaporating. We will not be asking you to sit back and listen to the ideas of a politician or eminent educator. No, we will be asking you to develop your own ideas through discussion in small groups. The evening will start with four extremely brief presentations, each exploring one of these questions: 1. What does it mean to be a well-educated person in the 21st century? 2. With all information/understanding now available online do we need to redefine the role of the teacher? 3. How could we construct a school inspection service which serves the interests of learners? 4. Should we move to multidisciplinary projects lasting, say, a week (eg the environment, music in life, how our energy is produced) rather than having a timetable based on 40-50 min subject lessons? You will then be invited to join a group of six to eight participants, with each group exploring one of these topics. Towards the end of the evening the main points of the discussion will be summarised and the ideas, YOUR ideas, will be published online on the GlobalNet21 website. So the evening will be a small-scale project in using deliberative democracy, people’s juries, to solve a big problem. Do come along and have your say!